Whether you’re at the end of your coffee, your day, your week or even your rope, welcome to Whitt’s End 11.6.20 …
*Lots of possible Dallas Mavericks’ names being volleyed in this quirky offseason, with great coverage by DallasBasketball.com. Bradley Beal here. Danilo Gallinari there. And, of course, the running thread of Giannis Antetokounmpo.
You know who I’m most excited about seeing in Dallas in 2021? Kristaps Porzingis.
Seems reasonable to expect him on the court in January, about the time the NBA begins play in arenas with 25-to-50 percent capacity. Good as they were last season, feels like Porzingis and Luka Doncic only began to scratch their surface.
*Don’t look now, but in the middle of a season the Dallas Cowboys are holding American Idol auditions for one of the most prestigious jobs on the planet.
For 69 consecutive games - dating back to 2015 – they had one starting quarterback.
Now, in the span of 28 days, they’ll have four. Dak Prescott. Andy Dalton. Ben DiNucci. CooperRushGarrettGilbert.
Come to think of it, Simon Cowell might be a better talent evaluator than Mike McCarthy.
*Whichever quarterback gets the ball Sunday at AT&T Stadium, bet against them. The Cowboys are an astonishing 0-8 against the spread. Coulda been easy money: If you would have bet $100 against Dallas in Week 1 and doubled it every week, you’d have $25,600 by now.
Not bad for eight weeks of “work.”
On Sunday, you could wager on the Cowboys as the second-largest underdog in franchise history. The 7-0 Steelers come to Arlington as a 14-point favorite, the largest visitors’ spread since the 49ers were 14.5 at Texas Stadium in 1989. (Dallas lost that game, 31-14). Regardless of the quarterback and considering Pittsburgh’s No. 1-ranked pass rush, it’s doubtful the Cowboys will score a touchdown. Much less keep the game close.
It’s also a possibility they will flirt with the worst home loss in team history, a 44-0 drubbing by the Bears in 1985.
*Was a lost season for the Texas Rangers. Other than, that is, a guy known for his bat making noise with his glove. Er, arm. Joey Gallo, usually praised for moon-shot homers with stat-geeking exit velocity, won a Glove Glove for his rocket arm in right field.
He joins Juan Beniquez (1977) and Gary Pettis (1990) as the only Rangers’ outfielders to win the award. Hard to believe a Major League Baseball could play 48 years and have only three decorated outfielders.
*I’m all for diversity and inclusiveness and whatever floats your boat, but Dallas’ newest boutique sounds like torture. The Tickle Bar, which debuted in Spain in 2011 and has now come to Dallas, offers tickle “therapy” sessions under Moroccan tents that implement fingers, feather dusters and makeup brushes.
Like the dude in the GEICO commercial backpedaling out of the attic filled with creepy mannequins, “Nope. No thank you.”
*Want a reminder of what a prodigious season Dak was having? He threw his last pass Oct. 11, but his 1,856 yards are still more than Kyler Murray, Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Jackson, Daniel Jones, Kirk Cousins and Ben Roethlisberger.
*Further evidenced by the Presidential election, America is malignantly divided. But I’ve got the cure: Our next President’s last name has to have “oo” in it.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, unites us like devolving into grade-schoolers and loudly making that “ooooooo” sound. We go bonkers over it. From Daryl “Mooooooose” Johnston to Amari “Cooooooper” and now DiN“ooooooo”cci. Right? In 2024, introduce Independent candidate Bradley Sc“ooooo”ter and, presto, a United States of America with a leader every citizen will root for.
*In the proud history of “Man Bites Dog”, I present to you “Dog Shoots Man.” No, really. It happened. In Plano. Safe to assume the case was handled by the K-9 unit?
*Bad football is still good entertainment. Kneeling and COVID and horrible teams in a putrid division be damned, Cowboys-Eagles game was last week’s most-watched show on TV by more than four million viewers.
*In a wasted season, the Cowboys are missing an opportunity to salvage beneficial player evaluation. DiNucci was predictably inept in his first start. Two fumbles. Sidearm slings right out of a dice game. Zero pocket presence.
But, um, why bench him?
You’re not going to the playoffs. You’ve already seen enough of Rush to cut him once. You spent a draft pick on DiNucci. How did he fall from a promising player with swagger and athleticism to a third-stringer on a team with no quality strings?
Can DiNucci be a legit NFL quarterback? Dunno. But, if nothing else, the Cowboys should learn that answer the second half of this meaningless season.
*So, I have this jaded admission about death. I’m not genuinely sad about the news of someone’s passing unless I can immediately remember the last time I was genuinely happy they were alive.
Sorry, Sean Connery.
While I saw lots of “this one really hurts” and “heart broken” in reaction to the death of the original James Bond this week, gotta admit it didn’t really move me. Sure, I remember watching You Only Live Twice as a kid, but that was 45ish years ago. My most recent memory of Connery? This interview where he doubles-down on his approval for physically hitting women. So much for being suave, debonair, or decent.
Appreciate his acting, but not his reality. Good riddance.
*Dalton on the COVID list. Bears’ facility closed. A Pac-12 Conference game canceled before its season even starts. Wisconsin with 30+ cases on its football team. 100,000+ new cases per day across America. And now Fox’s college football show hosts – Urban Meyer, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and Brady Quinn – all quarantined and off the air this Saturday. Rounding the turn sure feels like hitting the wall.
*How bad is the Cowboys’ run defense? It has surrendered 602 yards this season, before any contact. That’s 150 yards more than the next-worst team (Chiefs). The Colts have allowed only 147 rushing yards before contact all season.
*Remember way back when Kris Richard was spearheading an aggressive, effective Cowboys’ secondary and was a hot head-coaching candidate in NFL circles? He’s out of football this season, taking a year off to reassess his career after going 0-of-6 in coaching interviews.
*Another COVID casualty: Snap Kitchen this week closed 14 locations across Texas. And here I thought that genius of an idea was pandemic-proof.
*Cowboys have a history of ruining undefeated seasons. They beat the 9-0 Colts in 2006 and the 13-0 Saints in 2009. They will not flirt with upsetting the 7-0 Steelers.
*This Weekend? Saturday is hanging out with “lil’ bro” JaJa. Sunday let’s visit dear ol’ Mom and Dad and then watch some Cowboys-Steelers. With any luck, we’ll have a new President by then. As always, don’t be a stranger.